By Megan McChesney
I had a dream that my baby arrived early/late. He showed up while I was in a meeting at work, and the delivery was painless (obviously) and took all of 5 minutes. He was also a toddler—fully dressed and talking. He told me how much he loved Jesus. We walked around the office chatting, with the umbilical cord still attached. You know, just another day at work.
I have crazy dreams as a rule, and pregnancy has been no exception. And thanks to hormonal changes—a surge in progesterone, specifically—and increased interruptions to your regular nighttime routine (pee breaks, for example), dreamers can experience those wacky nighttime romps more often. And a whole new set of baby-related anxieties and preoccupations mean that dreams can take on different hues or be more vivid than you’re used to.
While no one has definitively determined why we dream, one of the prevailing theories is that our brains filter through our recent thoughts and concerns while we sleep, trying to figure out what to “delete” and what to hold on to. While this is happening, another part of our brain tries to weave this process into some kind of narrative. Which is why you might end up with Jimmy Fallon begging you to “take him back” and kissing you on an abandoned ride at Canada’s Wonderland (that was a good one).
Other theories around dreams suggest that dreaming allows us to practice our responses to threatening situations, that they help us review our decisions from the day and build wisdom, or that they act as a form of psychotherapy, allowing us to process our feelings in a safe, non-defensive space. And some people say that there is no reason for dreaming—it’s just our brains doing brain-like things and we put meaning onto them ourselves.
Jessica Simpson recently tweeted that she had a dream that she was at the hospital wearing a leopard caftan, but that seems like less of a dream, and more of a waking reality. Doesn’t she wear leopard caftans all the time?
What were some of your craziest pregnancy dreams?
Now THIS is our idea of a great family sing-along!...